December 12, 2014

 What side dishes do your family make for the holidays? For me, it's pretty basic, besides a few Brazilian staples mixed in. We have instant mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing, frozen squash, frozen vegetables, rolls, gravy, cranberry sauce, and Brazillian rice to go alongside our turkey. However, because of my wandering eye on pinterest and foodie blogs, I've been craving different side dishes such as sweet potato and butternut squash. Thankfully, I like to cook, so I don't mind whipping up some different side dishes to bring to my Uncle's. It's rude to show up empty handed anyway, right?

Here's a recipe for two healthy and different side dishes to bring to your celebration this holiday. My first recipe is roasted butternut squash!

You can be an overachiever and peel/cut your own butternut squash. However, I'm lazy and just bought the pre-cut version at the store. 

No matter what method you choose, make sure you but the squash in the microwave for 5-10 minutes with some water to soften it up.

Next, add your spices (which are listed below), then bake for 20 minutes.

The toppings made the squash taste just like the holidays should - spicy and sweet!

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 butternut, about 1 and 1/2 lbs
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 375, place a ceramic or glass baking dish in the oven to preheat.
2. If squash is not aready chopped, microwave it in a bowl for 3 minutes to soften. Remove the seeds and skin.
3. Toss the pepper, salt, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg with the butternut squash.
4.Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Mix in the apples and maple syrup.
6. Bake for another 10 minutes.
7. Let cool and enjoy!

My next recipe is guilt-free creamed spinach. It's safe to say that spinach is my favorite vegetable. It's not only nutrient-dense, but it's also versatile and delicious! Runners leave so much on the line and lose so much through exercise, we need all that iron back in us. Cheese is also one of my favorite things, and that's in this recipe, too!

This recipe also requires defrosting, because it calls for frozen spinach.

It defrosted easier than I thought! Look at how dark the color is... mmm so many vitamins and minerals! There goes the health nut showing through in me.

Here's the light and delicious cream forming in a saucepan on low heat. So much potential!


Low Fat Creamed Spinach


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup shallots minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 4.4 oz Boursin Light

1. Defrost the spinach
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter.
3. Mix in the shallots, cook for 5 minutes
4. Mix in the flour for one more minute.
5. Reduce the heat to low, and slowly add milk, whisking well.
6. Add parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper while mixing well. 
7. Add boursin light and mix until smooth.
8. Add spinach and combine well with the sauce, cook for one minute.
9. Adjust if necessary.
10. Enjoy!

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